Published: November 23rd 2006November 23rd 2006
Today is Thanksgiving and I am yet again travelling instead of eating enormous amounts of food with my family. Then again, sometimes I feel like every almuerzo over here in South America is a small version of Thanksgiving. I have settled into my next-to-last destination: Sucre, Bolivia.
After my Salar de Uyuni tour I took a bus ride to Potosi, the highest city in the world. I met a compañero on the bus de Ireland and we found a great hostal in the city where I ran into two other girls from the East-Coast whom I had met two previous times in Cañon de Colca (Peru) and Lake Titicaca (Puno, Peru).
I took a tour of the mines in Potosi, felt like I was going to die a quick and horrible death during the two hours down under, and then watched as our group exploded dynamite (essentially bombs) in the nearby fields. . . Only in Bolivia. The conditions of the mines are tan triste, the men only live until they're 40, and 96% of them are only working there because they have no other option. Before we went down into the mines, the guide told us that in the 90s some European scientists had come over to Bolivia to asess the stability of the mountain that they have been mining since the colonial era. Their prediction was that it would collapse entirely by the late 90s. Not exactly what I wanted to hear before walking through the narrow, dark, stuffy corridors down down down. . .
But I survived (barely). I arrived in Sucre, the beautiful capital of Bolivia, and was ready to rest after my month of being on the road. I stayed in a "nice" hostal for a few days and explored the city at leisure. Sunday, I want to a nearby market town to gather some presents for mi familia, because I can finally by some of the beautiful bags, scarves, etc. now that I am at the end of the trip. I think I picked up some fleas at the market, because the following day I awoke with 20 some-odd chomps out of me. I must have some sweet gringa blood. It wasn´t the best way to start my home-stay though.
I moved in with another wonderful family Sunday--- with an abuelita, a mom, and her son. I feel very much at home and we have some great convos over lunch every day now that I can get by in Spanish. I gave mi abuelita a CD of a mix of old tunes I had made before travelling and it's been on repeat for days. I am taking guitar lessons here, more Spanish lessons, and having a nice, relaxing time. . . In fact, I've taken a nice siesta after almuerzo every day :) I have only two weeks left, but I think they'll be a full two weeks!
I hope everyone is eating some good turkey. . . or tofurkey. . . and feliz!